Christmas time is coming!!!

I'm so excited! Killarney is so beautiful this time of the year, I knew when I was planning my trip that I would enjoy Fall and Winter most here and I was correct. It snowed last night! Our first snow of the season! I stood outside for ages watching the huge fluffy flakes fall gently onto the branches of the trees, and onto the grass. I awoke to the snow; thankfully it didn't burn off until much later in the day, and even then it didn't burn off completely. Every weekend until Christmas, town centre has booths set up in the street where merchants sell everything from hand painted ornaments (which I purchased of course!), to scarves and jewelry, to food and warm mulled wine! They set up speakers down every street in town which play Christmas carols so you can hear them no matter where you are. Add to that the garlands and lights draped all along the streets and the beautiful window displays and you have the most festive and happy atmosphere I've experienced in some time. It's amazing! It is quite chilly out, so everyone is bundled in thick coats, gloves, and hats, and you can see each breath in the chilly air. What I find most entertaining is to watch how inventive parents get trying to keep their kids warm, it's hysterical!

Dublin was very nice! I really enjoyed my Thanksgiving there. The streets in the part of town I stayed in were all festively decorated and cute, even if they were extremely convoluted and confusing to manuevor (although I must add that by the second day I did considerably well navigating--I'm quite proud of this fact!). I visited the Natural History museum and it was fascinating!!! I stayed there until closing; it was so interesting to learn about Viking Ireland and see all the work of goldsmiths from so long ago. Quite impressive. Their Egyptian section was small, but put ours in America to shame! The artifacts they had displayed were things that we normally only see pictures of, even within exhibits. They even had two female mummies and a mummified cat, plus x-rays showing the skeletal structures of each.

I visited the Guinness Storehouse on Thanksgiving and I was incredibly impressed. I wasn't expecting the building to be as interesting as it was, nor did I expect to enjoy touring it as much as I did. I learned quite a bit, and got a complimentary pint of Guinness in the room at the top of the building which is round and offers a 360 degree view of the city from high above. Best foam EVEEEER! :D

Finally, I visited the Book of Kells and the library in Trinity college. I cannot possibly stress to you how much I was touched by the library. It's a miraculous almost felt as if the air had weight to it, surrounded by such old texts. Almost like I had entered into some sacred place where voices must be lowered in respect for an unspoken, and undetectable force. I spent ages in that library. It was funny; in some ways I ached to touch and look at all of those books on their shelves, and in others I was terrified to get near them. So peculiar. Oh! I also learned how leather books are made and bound, it was fascinating!!!! I actually have been thinking about doing it myself at some point. I think I would really enjoy such work...a new hobby perhaps? I think I should get a spinning wheel first, then we'll see. :)

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